Our ambitions for Dutch patients
Through medicines, patients live longer in good health. This allows them to participate in society and contribute to the economy. Medicines are not a cost but an investment.
As we age, our health becomes more vulnerable, both mentally and physically. But even at a young age, a life without disease cannot be taken for granted. Two out of three Dutch people use medicines to have a better life.
That’s over 11.5 million people, each with their own story. It’s important that everyone gets the help and treatment they need. Medication can make a big change in people’s lives. Quality of life improves tremendously when you can walk and live without pain or other limitations.
A person with a chronic condition suffers from the same condition for a long time. This can be both physical and mental and occurs in early and later life.
In the Netherlands, 9.9 million have a chronic condition. That is 57% of the population. In combating chronic diseases such as rheumatism, cancer, diabetes and lung disease, great progress has been made in recent decades. Many patients benefit from this.
For people with chronic conditions, a drug (as part of a treatment) can help control or treat their condition so that they can get back to running their business.
Twice a year, the Horizon Scan provides an overview of all medicines expected to appear on the Dutch market in the next two years, as well as the expected budget impact.
The Horizon Scan also provides insight into the prospects for patients because it shows for which diseases new medicines will be available. Not all drugs in the Horizon Scan will reach the market within 2 years. Due to delays it may take longer. A number of drugs will never reach the market.
New medicines add to the treatment options for patients. This is much needed; there are still many patients for whom an appropriate treatment is not yet available.
In total, there are more than 18,000 drugs in development. The Horizon Scan focuses only on medicines in the final stages of the development and registration process.
Over 1.2 million Dutch people have some form of diabetes (type 1 or 2). The number of people who die of diabetes each year is steadily declining. This is largely due to good medicines. In addition, sufficient exercise and a healthy diet are also important in preventing diabetes.
The five-year survival rate for many types of cancer continues to rise. According to the latest figures, 65% of cancer patients are still alive five years after diagnosis.
Thanks to new treatments such as immunotherapy, skin, prostate, breast and thyroid cancers have become chronic diseases in many cases in recent years. In fact, the five-year survival rate for skin cancer is 94%. This is good news for patients. For all cancers, a lot of research is being done to find and develop new drugs.
Medicines are an investment, not a cost. First and foremost, medicines enable people to live healthier lives and participate in society for a longer period of time.
Medicines add value to society in many ways. For example, medicines often prevent the need to other care, such as surgeries, transplants and hospitalizations.
Medications also prevent costs that arise from disability or sick leave costs. In addition, the sector also provides economic value: it creates jobs, provides employment for other sectors (e.g., transportation), and contributes to the growth of the Dutch economy.
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